Luckless South Sydney second-rower Kyle Turner has labelled his NRL return a success, despite failing to finish the match against Penrith due to concussion.
Appearing in his first NRL match since breaking his neck in February’s indigenous All Stars game, Turner was felled in an attempted tackle on Panthers prop Jeremy Latimore early in the second half of Sunday’s thrilling 20-16 win.
Play was stopped for about five minutes before the 23-year-old, who contributed five carries and 11 tackles in a little over 20 minutes, slowly got to his feet and walked off the field.
Turner couldn’t recall the incident post-match, but said he initially feared another neck injury.
“I think everyone’s main concern was the neck, but no,” he said.
“All that aside, I thought it was a successful return.”
It was the seventh time in two years Turner has been concussed, a worrying number that prompted Triple M commentator Gorden Tallis to say on radio: “If that’s my son, I ask him to retire.”
But the promising forward emphatically denied the high number of knockouts was of major concern to his long-term health.
“Souths have done all the precautions. I’ve gone to see doctors in Melbourne, in Sydney,” he said.
“I’ve done all I need to (and) there’s no positive results from that.
“It’s all good. I’m just looking forward to playing some good football now.”
Asked if there was a threshold to the amount of concussions his body could take, he said: “Until I can’t recover from head knocks.
“For now, I feel fine. No repercussions from it.”
The premiership-winning forward admitted to feeling nerves before his long-awaited return, which was welcomed by a standing ovation by the Rabbitohs faithful upon his introduction midway through the first half.
“I was almost throwing up right before run-on,” he said.
“The boys calmed me down and made me confident to think that I should be in this side.
“I thought I went out there and did a fair job.
“It was a long road to get where I am now. But looking back at it now, it was a good life lesson.”